While the PNC’s consumed with clinging on to power — by making a mockery of the Constitution and the Judiciary — most of us are fixated on the looming political standoff. But we can’t afford to ignore the impact that standoff’s gonna have on our hopes for raising the standard of living for all Guyanese. In its first iteration, from 1964 to 1992, the PNC’s policies plunged our economy from where it was – on par with the very best of its CariCom neighbours — to where it was hovering just above Haiti, the poster boy for poverty in the Western Hemisphere.
And why did that happen? Fundamentally, it was because of the same political standoff — caused then by two decades of PNC rigging elections — which silenced the major Opposition from influencing the economic development plans for the country. The problem with the PNC – starting with their founder, Forbes Burnham, who suffered from dogmatic subjectivism — is that while they haven’t the foggiest notion about economic development, they’re yet intensely fanatical about their personal fads on the subject. For Burnham, it was “cooperative socialism”, just because he had to be different from his bete noir, Cheddi Jagan! Burnham once publicly proclaimed that he didn’t care if the entire Guyana perished, his “economic experiment” would continue!!
So, if Granger’s PNC were to be successful in locking out the PPP by rigging the next elections — which is the only reason Granger stood on his head to hand-pick the next GECOM Chair, and is doing backflips even after the CCJ slapped him down — what can we expect from them on the economic front? All we’ve got to do is look at what they’ve done over the last four years: to wit, promise the Guyanese people that oil will solve all our economic woes!!
Now, apart from sticking us with the worst oil contract since Standard Oil struck and claimed oil under the Arabian sands, leaving us with (comparative) peanuts, even some PNC diehards’ eyes would pop to learn that large oil reserves don’t necessarily lead to better standards of living for the citizenry. Especially in ‘shithole’ countries!! And it’s not just next-door Venezuela; look at Nigeria, the largest oil producer in Africa, which has overtaken India as the country with the LARGEST NUMBER OF POOR PEOPLE!! And let’s not even talk about Equatorial Guinea!!
The bottom line is, sadly, drilling and pumping oil doesn’t produce jobs – and whatever money is gleaned from the contract, goes into the national treasury, rather than the people’s pockets.
And from what we’ve seen during the last four years, don’t even ask where the money from the Treasury will go!!
Just like Nigeria!!
…into the theatre of the absurd
The antics of Granger and other members of his government — especially his Attorney General, to whom he astonishingly awarded “silk” — can only be described in the style of the “theatre of the absurd”. After all, with notions like “33 is not the majority of 65”, and “the President must also submit lists”, what else can we conclude, except that we’re all now been thrown into a parallel universe that has no meaning?!!
After Granger tried explaining stuff like “Judicial Review” – his “perception is as good as the “Chief Justice’s”!! and the disjunctive “or” — the same as “and”!! — your Eyewitness thought he suffered from that common malady of the unschooled: the “illusion of explanatory depth”. You know, where most folks feel they can explain things that are waaaay above their ken!!
But with Granger so outlandish with his “explanations”, it’s either the “alternate universe” theory or he really thinks Guyanese are fools.
Now, this is an occupational hazard of absurdist ex-generals like Granger.
They don’t have to explain their orders!!
Notice the rising unemployment; stagnant economy; violent robberies and murders; looting of the state’s resources; corruption; sinking NGSA results; and so on and so forth in our dear mudland — while Granger insists we’re living the “good life”??
Dystopia is here!!